A girl sat atop a pile of leaves. She looked out over the horizon, closed her eyes, and let the cool fall breeze blow through her lengthy strawberry blonde hair. A yellow leaf drifted onto the surface of the muddy pond. The water rippled away in beautifully symmetrical circles. The girl rose from the leaves under the tree, made her way down to the bank next to the leaf, and knelt down on the mushy ground next to the water.
She slowly moved her hand towards the water. Just before her dainty hand made contact with the water, a toad leapt into the pond from the bank, disturbing the ripples created by the leaf. The girl yelled at the frog as if the frog could hear her. She rose from the mushy bank and looked down at her feet. Both her socks and shoes were soaked in mud and grime. She slowly turned around, making her way back to the tree.
She placed her socks and shoes on the branches of the tree to dry. The girl sat back down on top of the vibrant leaves that had fallen from the tree in previous days. A stick was laying next to the girl. She carefully reached over and grabbed it. She got up, with the stick in hand, she approached a bare dirt spot on the ground. Gently, the girl took the stick and placed the pointed end in the bare dirt spot. She began moving the stick. For about five minutes, the girl drug the pointed stick through the dry dirt. When she was done, it was an outline of the state she loved most. She drew a heart inside the outline of West Virginia, and then she crouched down next to the drawing. Photographing the image in her mind forever, she proceeded to swipe her tiny foot across the dirt.
The girl turned away from the dirt spot and began running away. She ran up over the hill towards a rusty old swing set. The young girl approached the swing set and proceeded to climb up onto one of the swings. Her feet moved back and forth until enough momentum was gained to keep swinging. She swung higher and higher until eventually she lept off of the swing. Landing hard and rolling onto the ground, laying there, staring up at the sky. Gazing up into the bright blue sky, she could hear the soothing sound of birds chirping in the distance. Slowly closing her eyes, listening to the sweet sound of the nature of the mountain state she loved, she slowly drifted into a light slumber.
The sound of a tree falling from afar shook the girl from her light slumber. Sitting up from her horizontal position, she looked around. Slowly she rose from the ground. She began walking back towards the tree. She got her socks and shoes that were now dry and put them back on her feet. She skipped her way back down to the river. She had taken a leaf with her. Slowly, the young girl placed the leaf on the pond, watching as the ripples grew. The ripples soon overtook the whole pond. A haze began to develop over the pond and the ripples were no longer able to be seen.
Awakened from her dream, Addilyn slapped at her phone to silence her alarm. Once the alarm was silenced, she rolled over onto her back. Looking up at the ceiling, she thought about the dream she just had. She began to shed a tear. Thinking of her home back in West Virginia, as she is forced to listen to the hustle and bustle of New York City.
Addilyn tossed and turned in bed for about an hour before deciding to get up. She got dressed, did her hair and makeup, and walked to the kitchen to eat breakfast. Getting a bowl from the cabinet and the milk out of the fridge, she proceeded to make herself a bowl of cereal.
“Good morning, sweetie!” Addilyn’s mother said as she walked over to her to give her a kiss on the forehead. Addilyn just sat there, not even acknowledging her mother.
“Addi? Are you okay, dear?” her mother questioned her unusually quiet daughter. Addilyn nodded her head yes and continued eating her cereal. A bedroom door opened and out walked her father. He was dressed in a suit, had a briefcase in one hand, and was talking on the phone with the other. He walked through the kitchen, grabbed an orange, and walked out the door.
“Mom, can I stay home today?” Addilyn asked in a sad, low voice.
“Addi, is something going on? If you don’t tell me what is wrong, I’m going to make you go to school.” her mother responded.
“I hate it here!” Addi snapped.
“Sweetie, what do you mean you hate it here? You have so many friends, and you love your school,” she said.
“Mom, just because I have friends doesn’t mean that I’m happy. Yes, I go to school here. Yes, I know all the good restaurants. But mom, this- this is not my home. This is just some shoebox apartment that you and dad decided to just one day up and move us into. You didn’t even ask me. We have been here for six months, and I have hated every single second. Mom, I want to go home to West Virginia. I want to go where I am happy.” Addilyn explained.
“Okay, sweetie. I will talk to your father. I miss West Virginia and our home there, too. You aren’t alone.”
“Wait, really? You’re gonna talk to dad?” Addilyn said with an excited tone.
“Yes sweetheart. It may take a couple weeks, maybe even months, but I want to move back home. The only reason that we stayed here in New York was because we thought that you would be happier here.” Addilyn’s mother said to her.
“Mom, I’m not happy. I want to go home,” Addi said.
3 months later…
Pulling into the driveway in the moving truck, Addilyn’s face lit up with joy. The truck came to a stop. She leapt out of the truck and took off in a dead sprint towards the front of their new house. Busting through the door, Addilyn’s excitement only grew.
“It’s perfect!” Addi shouted to her parents who were still outside.
Addilyn was finally happy with her life. She was home, back in the mountain state of her dreams. Now the view from her bedroom window was not a skyscraper or a pizza shop, but it was the warm colors of the leaves on the trees in the rolling mountains. Addilyn knew that from now on, she could wake up with a smile on her face knowing that she was home.